F1 24 Hands-On First Impressions

May 23, 2024

F1 24 Hands-On

F1 24 is almost here, and Codemasters have been kind enough to share with us a preview build of the latest iteration in the long-running Formula 1 game series. With a brand new career mode, completely rebuilt tracks, and real driver voice-over audio borrowed from actual F1 races, F1 24 promises to be a truly immersive Formula 1 experience.  It’s due out next week, so join us for  our first hands-on impressions where we take a look at some of the big changes in this year’s game.

The first change is the new EA SPORTS Dynamic Handling system which Codemasters is calling the largest-ever physics and handling update. Working closely with none other than Max Verstappen, the new Dynamic Handling system promises to give the car a more immersive, predictable and realistic performance no matter what accessory you’re racing with. We noticed the changes on the very first corner, locking up the rear tires and getting passed by a few cars. Once you master the realistic physics however, you have a lot more control over your car than before, with cornering, rolling resistance, brake pressure, track temperatures all things to consider. Learn more about the new EA SPORTS Dynamic Handling system here.

F1 24 Hands-On

Another big change in F1 24 is that Braking Point is gone, replaced with a far more immersive Career Mode where you can play as your favourite driver or create your own to climb the ranks as an F1 or F2 rookie. Each race has consequences that will build on your F1 heroes existing stats and reputation, and you can even play this mode with legendary icons of the sport including Senna and Schumacher. Despite the lack of Braking Point, we think fans are going to love this new single-player mode, particularly because every journey with every different driver will be unique. There’s even a two-player mode where you can partner with a friend to play on the same team or as rivals. Learn more about the F1 24 career mode here. Also, throughout career mode, expect to hear hundreds of borrowed real-world F1 broadcasts of drivers implemented into key moments of the race such as when crossing the finish line or when crashing out. How cool is that?

All twenty cars from all ten teams have been recreated for the 2024 season using detailed CAD data, and when coupled with ray-tracing technology, the game looks unbelievably realistic on a modern PC gaming rig. F1 driver appearances have also been improved, thanks to full hair rendering and improved eye and skin shaders which make cut-scenes a lot more enjoyable to watch than previous games. It’s always important to check out the minimum and recommended requirements, but we found the minimum requirements to be quite lenient, with the 1060 graphics card now being eight years old. There’s also a handy benchmark test in the graphics settings so you’ll know you’re getting the most out of your PC. Of course, the best way to experience the graphical improvements  is if you can play F1 24 in 4K.

The Silverstone, Spa, Lusail and Jeddah race tracks have all received major updates this year, bringing them in line with their real-life counterparts. We found gravel traps in new locations, now punishing drivers for mistakes as opposed to simply being used as run-offs, and bumps and curbs now feel more realistic than ever. There’s a great comparison video by YouTuber Cycu1 showing the differences between this year’s and last year’s Circuit de-Spa-Francorchamps, and what really caught us off-guard is the feeling of elevation now, heading down that hill after turn 1 and then back up and around turns 4 and 5.

Lastly, as part of our testing we plugged in the Thrustmaster Ferrari SF1000 and can happily report that it appears to be working as designed. There’s no preset controls for it other than a generic Thrustmaster wheel setting, so we did have to go in and customise the button layout, but once it was up and running it was an exhilarating experience, and certainly more immersive than last year’s game.

We’ve been reading the comments sections on some of the official trailers for the game and it seems a lot of fans are thinking F1 24 is only a patch update of F1 23, but from what we’ve seen so far, there is plenty of new content in every area of the game. Sure, there’s a lot of familiarity with the previous few titles, but much like an F1 car, each upgrade can only make it better. We’re looking forward to the full release of F1 24 on Tuesday May 28th for the Champions Edition and Friday May 31st for the standard edition, so make sure you check back with Rocket Chainsaw for our full review. Until then however, why not check out a comedic hands-on impression by McLaren enthusiast Lando Norris.